SENNETT — Beautiful, windless conditions made for a perfect day for golf, and a perfect day for Auburn to earn a sweep.
The Maroons hosted a pair of teams from East Syracuse-Minoa Wednesday at Highland Park Golf Course, defeating ES-M Blue 218-222 and ES-M Orange 218-276.
Ross Burgmaster and Christian Hogan were Auburn's leaders on the scorecard, both shooting 4-over-par 41s on Highland Park's front nine. Carter Mizro was right on their tails with a 43. Jack Leader recorded a 46, Jake Hansen secured a 47 and Colin Tardif posted a 48.
While he doesn't rank as Auburn's leader in scoring average, Hogan, an eighth-grader, had one of his better performances of the season. His previous low score of the season came on Sept. 6 against Fulton, in which Hogan carded a 40; he also shot a 41 last week against Central Square.
"Christian's just been coming along," Auburn assistant coach Don Patchett said. "He's a young kid that's been playing more golf and it shows. It's getting later in the season so he's just catching up with his number of swings and he's playing well."
It was another strong day for Burgmaster, who along with Leader forms Auburn's top pairing. The senior is off to a strong start in his bid to return to state qualifiers, where Leader hopes to join.
"Obviously they're a junior and senior. They take it seriously, they're focused and they're just great kids. They're kids you want on your team," Patchett said. "Ross definitely has a goal internally to get into that state tournament and maybe perform a little better. Jack's the same thing. He wants to make it down to that state tournament."
Team-wise, Auburn has been strong all year. The Maroons started off the season by winning the small schools tournament at the 18th annual Drumlins Invitational, scoring 214 as a team to beat out seven other schools. That was Auburn's first ever win at that tournament, and the Maroons followed with five straight wins to start their league schedule.
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Auburn suffered its first loss of the season last Friday against Cortland, then suffered a tough-luck loss Monday against Jamesville-DeWitt, despite shooting 206 as a team.
Part of the reason for such a strong start is the team's depth. Patchett also points out that head coach Steve Franchina tries to give everyone a chance to play in matches to gain experience, and that the players' post-match routines are a factor in everyone's improvement.
"The younger kids have really stepped up this year," Patchett said. "A lot of them played a lot of golf over the summer. They were focused to try and improve their game. After the match, they all huddled around the putting green, and you could see they were doing some chipping and putting. Obviously that's a big part of golf."
By sweeping East Syracuse-Minoa, Auburn improves to 3-1 at its home course. The Maroons have taken advantage of Highland Park's front nine, which features five par 4s, though the team has also done some damage on Hole 2, a par 5 that features a narrow fairway with sand traps on both sides of the green.
"You get a good drive off of there and they're hopefully thinking birdie," Patchett said of Hole 2. "It's a little dog leg right, so if you get a good tee shot and get in position for that second shot, you're birdie hunting."
Auburn (7-2) hits the road Thursday to take on Oswego at Oswego Country Club.